Recipe courtesy of chef Emeril Lagasse, from the book Emeril at the Grill (Harper Collins)
• 6 ounces bacon, chopped
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 3 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
• 2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes (1/2-inch cubes if using a food processor to grind)
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 8 slices cheddar cheese
• 4 sesame-seed hamburger rolls, lightly toasted
• 1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
• 8 thin slices tomato
• Condiments, to taste
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp and most of the fat has been rendered, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the onion, and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant and soft but not brown, 2 minutes. Add the thyme, and toss to combine. Remove skillet from the heat, and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
2. Place the beef in a large bowl. Pour the bacon mixture over the beef. Drizzle with Worcestershire sauce, and season with the salt and pepper. Toss gently and thoroughly to combine. Cover, and refrigerate 1 hour. (If grinding the meat using a food processor, place the mixture in the freezer.)
3. Using a home meat grinder, grind the meat following the manufacturer's instructions for a medium grind. (If using a food processor, grind in 3 or 4 batches using the pulse bar until the desired grind is achieved.) Gently form the ground meat into 4 patties, being careful not to overwork it. Cover, and refrigerate until chilled, 30 to 60 minutes.
4. Lightly oil the grate of the grill, and preheat the grill to medium. Place the patties on the grill, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Flip over, and place 2 slices of cheddar on each burger. Grill another 5 to 7 minutes to reach medium-rare, or until the desired doneness. Transfer the burgers to the rolls, and dress with the lettuce, tomatoes and condiments. Serve immediately. Serves 4.